Part of our ineffectiveness in today's Church (intended to bring attention so we can fix it, not to bash) is so many of us are out of position. People lead themselves, believing it's okay to merrily bounce from one place to the next, taste-testing wine from every table. We do all this without being sent, usually because the church down the street has a better "you fill in the blank". We all know there is nothing wrong with paving our parking lots, having a nursery or having the best youth department in town, but I think we could all agree those things are added conveniences.
The Alzheimer's Foundation of America defines dementia this way: Dementia is a general term that describes a group of symptoms-such as loss of memory, judgment, language, complex motor skills, and other intellectual function-caused by the permanent damage or death of the brain's nerve cells, or neurons. -In the past, I've described our human condition as having an identity crisis. We haven't had our identity stolen, that would be impossible. You are who you are, even if you don't know it. Either building on or drilling deeper, I do not know, it is most likely our disconnect from our spiritual head that could be diagnosed as spiritual dementia.
Fueling "our" dementia is a belief rooted in the assumption God was created in our image rather than we in His. We transfer that to assuming our spiritual authority should appear in our image. We say with our mouths "we submit" but in our hearts it's only to the point that we're familiar. Some insist spiritual authority on Earth must have a meeting on Sunday. Some say, "no building at all". And some say, "no meeting at all". Whatever your flavor, we've created a Jesus that can meet the perception of your need. I realize this sounds a little cynical but if we're ever to receive healing and then wholeness, we need to know "from what" we're being healed. Your greatest enemy may be your failure to rest in God. In your defense, you can't do it before He leads but it's the disconnect from the Head that I'm addressing, not the action of "faith" or "lack of faith". What we often call "faith" is really our present "trusting God", which we treat as if it's the standard. In reality, the standard is really to eat from the Tree of Life so we start out deceived making it impossible to "hit the mark".
Drinking from many fountains causes our purpose to become confused and diluted. Our hearing becomes dull when we search everything we can find, to make what we call our gift manifest in the Earth. When we see ourselves as our gift, we are lost; maybe we have salvation for a future heaven but we're unable to bring the reality of heaven into our world. We're caught in the in between. It's in this state we exhibit symptoms of spiritual dementia (loss of memory, judgment, language, complex motor skills, and other intellectual function-caused by the permanent damage or death of the brain's nerve cells, or neurons). Of course, we know nothing is wrong with The Head. It's just that the body is disconnected from Him, simply by trying to find Him. He was right there, but many leave in search of an already present God. He takes us to a situation to teach us, but our itching ears and sweet tooth lead instead. It's in this mindset that we are seeking to discover who we are. We are drawn to support those who give us purpose in the natural, which isn't all bad. It's when we seek this for validation and identity that we eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. As long as this is our mindset we'll never be able to experience real circumcision. We give others what we are drinking; it's the same convoluted mixture we drink and we think we're doing well.
Occasionally, I'm misunderstood so I should clarify that I see diversity as our strength. I'm not saying we shouldn't connect with others, or learn from each other. God reveals Himself anyway He chooses. I'm just sharing from an apostle's viewpoint where that is. What's important to understand in each of us, we carry light (lamp or lamp-stand). Just like you, we are each responsible for tending that light. I use a lower case "l" when spelling light because as long as we're tending it, we aren't there yet. Where's there? You'll have to read further to learn a little about the third dimension or seventh day, but when we're in alignment with His Kingdom in Heaven, we'll mirror it on Earth. In short, "there", is walking behind the veil, where He provides the Light.
His Kingdom has come but our body is learning what this looks like on Earth. I don't suppose to tell you what your specific ministry should look like. I can only say that you were fearfully and wonderfully made in His image. Borrowing a little light from many takes their revelation and treats it with dishonor. It also makes your life a mess because you don't have the authority to speak their revelation, as if you carried their light. What happens is that you quote them and place it in the context of your life, but they were given that light for an entirely different purpose; one that's very personal between God and them. They lost more than we can possibly imagine to have their revelation trampled on. The bottom line is that tending everyone's lamp-stand will wear you out. Let's talk about spiritual authority and submission, for a moment. As it concerns leadership in His body; someone speaks and your baby leaps because they carry the same light. That's how you know where you are being joined into His body. If this happens to you, then God may be showing you who you should be submitting. No baby has three fathers so this connection is very important to discern where God has placed you in the body. Many are sick because they don't allow their afraid to have their hearts circumcised. I understand what you may be thinking; it's scary. When we buy into having more than one father, we set ourselves up for a harder road than is really required.
You have a lamp-stand, and in one sense, you are that lamp-stand. Just like Jesus went to sit at the right hand of the Father and is preparing a place for you, maybe we should consider that the place He is preparing, "is you". In His House there are many mansions. The things you are going through is your mansion being restored. You shouldn't hear any negativity in this article because you are one of His mansions and His desire is to take residence and live in you; not just in you but through you. If you submit to spiritual authority, it is in the context of helping guide you to trust Him. You should never allow anyone to control your life, except if someone steals your coat, then maybe you can give them your sweater too. If God's called you, His Word is in you, so simply by falling to the ground in surrender His authority, you will "grow" just like any other seed. Jesus taught that the children of God are His seed. As you desire to sow His Word in others you were designed to manifest His Word and be sown in the Earth. The idea that God is distant is a world view and not anything like reality. God didn't touch you so that you could save your life by what makes human sense. He touched you so you could become a son and receive your inheritance.
It's a super-natural resurrection that happens. Jesus said He came to make war and not peace. There is nothing nice or pleasant about taking authority over your own flesh, but only you can do it as He leads. The ways that 'seem' right are to take in as much information as needed to reach a logical conclusion, but God was already perfect Logic. He makes perfect sense if you have eyes to see. He connected you to Him and has connected you in His body. The pain of much of life's struggles are Him uncovering what was done in the open. That's right; it was done in the open, not in a corner. Our salvation is plain to see and He desires much more that you go along with Him than you could ever chase after Him. Since we are so use to hiding and doing things in secret, we're a little slow on this, but never to worry, He's been on our side the whole time and demands we not glory in our own flesh and this is one of the primary reasons He places spiritual authority in your life. We travail in pain to see Christ be formed in you.
It does no good to bare burdens He already bore and He receives no honor or glory when we fail to receive what He died and resurrected to give. When we feed others with this same cup, Jesus said you're making them twice a son of hell as you. The act of submission is not only necessary to learn; it's fundamental to how authority functions on Earth and in Heaven. So many have a great desire to teach and that's wonderful, but if no one is asking questions of you, or bowing at the anointing in you (2Kings2:15), they aren't ready to hear. What you probably need is to wait until you are sent. But, if you're bound and determined to plow ahead, if they aren't buying what you're selling, stop talking and listen. Listen until their heart softens so they can receive. In that environment, it's impossible to learn unless Someone has to submit to your authority or your wasting your time trying to teach. It's much more wise trying to love them to repentance until their hearts are soft and pliable enough to teach, than to take authority over someone other than own life. That's just wrong.
As it stands now, those carrying the label of Christian look like drunk fools to the world. Out of our mouths come a message of forgiveness but many of our homes are a wreck. The church's divorce rate is higher than the world and hotels bid for denominational leadership conventions so they can sell more porn. Humans love to worship "form" so it's not an easy path to follow Christ.
I want to leave you with one final thought about what it looks like dancing from table to table drinking any wine that's served. This is more that a thought; it's a reality of not submitting to the authority God places in your life. There was a chief priest in Acts 9 that tried to do miracles in the name of the Jesus that Paul preaches. The demon replied that Jesus he knew and Paul he knew but who are you? I don't see it as conferring with flesh and blood but wouldn't the best baseball players submit to their coach for training and game day? Even Paul went and submitted his gospel to Peter, James and John. He wrote that he submitted to them in private because he was fearful that he might be running, or had run, in vain. Arrogance and pride are not compatible with teaching; and submitting to spiritual authority is very different than submitting one to another in brotherly love.
In Him, David